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Page speed is important for a number of reasons. The first and foremost reason to have decent upload times on your website is for user experience. The better the user experience that you provide on your website, the more likely visitors will be willing to spend more time on your website and therefore, they will also be more likely to buy from you.
The second reason you should prefer a quicker site to a slower one is the fact that as of April 2010, upload times are factored into your search engine ranking. In order words – when all other factors are equal – a quicker site will have a higher ranking than a slower one.
So if you have a slower site – what can you do to improve it? Here are a few tips:
Most websites rely on databases to store information. This is especially true if the site has a blog, news site or online store or other feature which might require an internal search.
Simply by adding an index to your database can greatly improve the overall speed of your site. For example, when you conduct a search on your website, the website must search the database to find what you are looking for. The more files you have, the longer it could take to find.
By adding an index, your search is narrowed down considerably and the time it takes to find what you are looking for is much less.
Tracking your traffic and social media activity can be as fun as it is useful. But overdo it and you’ll slow your website down considerably.
It’s important to be selective – there is no reason to have fifteen different tracking codes on a single page. When you do use them, be sure to put them at the bottom of the page. This way people can still see the rest of your website even if the tracking codes haven’t loaded yet.
Video embeds can help to make a website more dynamic, but these too must be used with caution. Video sites such as YouTube use something called an iFrame to embed videos into other websites. iFrames can seriously slow down load times.
The same is true for share buttons and other social media widgets. As a marketer, these things may be important to you, but you need to be selective and balance them with page speed.
The first time that you visit a website, the browser must request all of your images and content from your website’s server. These are stored in your browser’s cache. Using a caching program or plugin will help to greatly include your site’s speed.
Even though your site is “on the web” it still must be stored physically on a server somewhere. If your site is stored on a server in Toronto then it will likely be fairly quick for users in Toronto to load. On the other hand, if you have users in Vancouver trying to access your site in Toronto, they may experience lag time because the site has to “travel” a greater distance stopping at various routers on the way.
But if a copy of your site also existed on a server in Vancouver, your Vancouver users could view your site without any lag time at all.
This is the concept behind Content Delivery Networks (CND). It essentially allows you to have copies of your site all over the world.
Using a CND service is a great option for a business that wishes to attract customers around the globe.
PageSpeed Insights is a Google tool that allows you to analyse the speed of your website. Using Google tools is always recommended for improving your SEO because Google also uses Google tools so you are using the same criteria for measuring.
PageSpeed Insights both measures the speed of your website and provides tips on how to make it faster. Webmasters who ignore this important tool, do so at their own peril.
Remember page speed matters – both for your customers and for SEO. Use these simple tips and speed ahead of your competition.